The Carchive – The DeTomaso Pantera L

pantera1 Some time in the late ’90s, I wrote to the exotic sports car manufacturer DeTomaso and asked for a Pantera brochure. I wanted to get something as a present for my brother, as in those days I did do some Haininging myself, and as a result there’s a few brochures taking up Expedit space in my apartment even today. Back then, I was very fond of the Pantera and the ’90s DeTomaso products that were slowly churned out really caught my attention. Weeks or months later, the brochure arrived in the mail. Surprise! It was an older brochure from the early ’70s, when the Pantera initially came out under the watchful eye of the Lincoln-Mercury dealers in the first batches, after being introduced in the 1970 New York Motor Show. My 15 years of not-too-careful admiring have torn the four-page leaflet in two, but it’s definitely scannable – and that’s what I did to hi-jack the Carchive slot for today. pantera2 The Pantera looks excellent in 1972 guise. The L-spec, or Lusso, model has the Federal bumpers, and the platypus-like effect it has on the nose doesn’t actually ruin it. And I especially love the wheels along with the period-correct colour of the rest of the car. pantera3 The brochure has that special 1970s quality about it, that the ever-so-slightly crappy scan only works to embellish. pantera4 The bumpers should probably be seen to distinguish these latter, better finished cars from the initial 1,007 MY1971 cars which according to lore weren’t really up to scratch. I wouldn’t imagine the ’72 cars to be shining examples of impeccable fit and finish, either, but there was probably ample room for improvement over the first cars. pantera5 And still, the cockpit-like interior in this brochure photo looks fantastic. The vertical stereo slot looks just as afterthought-like as it does every time one pops up in any ’70s or ’80s car, but the gearshift is pure business. pantera6   The Ford emblem stands proud on the back page, probably prominent enough to merit the car a “Ford Pantera” misnomer in less knowledgeable circles. That’s what the Pantera was called in some reports of the fatal Redondo Beach crash that claimed the life of the Finnish glam rock band Hanoi Rocks’ British drummer, Razzle, in Dec 1984. On a beer run, Mötley Crue’s Vince Neil crashed his Pantera into an innocent Beetle, destroying the Finnish band’s chances of an attempt of winning the States over with their proto-G’n’R brand of rock, as the guys had only arrived in the country earlier that same day, with their tour just ahead of them. But yeah, that’s another story, and one less hilarious than the one about Elvis shooting his Pantera due to the car not starting. pantera_envelope   The Pantera was officially offered on behalf of Ford until 1975, with the plug being pulled after some 5500 cars were sold. You could get a grey-market, later Pantera in the ’80s if you wanted, as the car remained in production until 1993. The car evolved, Countach-like, with spoilers and add-ons, but the first ones are the cleanest. I’m kind of proud of the brochure, even if I did order it for my brother and conveniently add it to my collection a few years later. Fittingly, my crappy scanner is Brother-branded… [Promotional material courtesy of DeTomaso Modena S.p.A]

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